Are you tired of staring at the excess sebum in your nose? Sebum is more commonly known as nose grease or oil. Having it in excess isn’t something to worry about. But, it can be annoying to see how it creates an uneven texture underneath your carefully applied nose makeup. Before you reach for a nose strip to remove it, consider less aggressive methods to address the buildup.

“Nose strips can be harmful to your skin and pores because of the adhesive,” Shafer Clinic board certified cosmetic dermatologist, Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, told 21Ninety. 

The strips may also tear the superficial capillaries leading to spider veins Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic dermatologist T N Rekha Singh, MBBS, MD, told 21Ninety.

“The forceful removal can lead to enlarged pores and damage the delicate skin, exacerbating issues of sensitivity and redness,” she added.

How Do You Deep Clean Your Nose Pores?

Cleansers, exfoliants, and retinol are all able to remove excess sebum without ripping away at your delicate skin. The key is to use active ingredients that actually break down the gunk in your nose. Both dermatologists recommended using one of five potent exfoliating acids: alpha-hydroxy acid, beta-hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid.

“These ingredients dissolve the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together,” Dr. Singh explained.

The dermatologist says these acids also deeply penetrate the pores to do their job. Dr. Engelman added retinol to his list of recommended ingredients to try.

“Retinol can help control excess oil and sebum production and is also proven to regulate cell turnover to prevent clogged pores,” the board certified dermatologist noted.

To effectively clear your pores, use one of the active ingredients two to three times per week – depending on the sensitivity of your skin.

“Over-exfoliation can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to an overproduction of sebum and irritation,” according to Dr. Singh.

Aafter every exfoliation, replenish your skin with a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. Both dermatologists emphasized to not skip the moisture step so that you keep that delicate skin protected. 

Best AHA/BHA Cleanser

Community Sixty-Six Detoxifying AHA/BHA Gel Cleanser

Community Sixty-Six’s Detoxifying AHA/BHA Gel Cleanser is one that Dr. Engelman personally recommended. This gel-based oil-free cleanser has a blend of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and niacinamide.

“[It] gently exfoliates, unclogs pores, and reduces the appearance of blackheads and breakouts,” according to the board certified dermatologist. 

Best BHA Toner

Medik8 Press and Clear

Photo Courtesy of Dermstore

Medik8 Press and Clear is a BHA toner that uses two percent salicylic acid to decongest pores. It’s also another Dr. Engelman recommendation.

“I like this toner because it gently clarifies, slows sebum production, reduces the appearance of blackheads and pores, and prevents new pore clogs from forming,” he explained. 

Best Glycolic Acid

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Pure High-Potency 9.8% Glycolic Acid Serum

Kiehl’s Since 1851’s Ultra Pure High-Potency 9.8% Glycolic Acid Serum is a potent product that breaks down gunk while evening out skin texture. To apply it on your nose, Dr. Singh suggests dampening a cotton pad with the product before swiping it over your nose. 

Best Lactic Acid

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Exfoliating Serum

The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Exfoliating Serum is an alcohol-free product that evens skin texture by decongesting clogged pores. Along with the aforementioned actives, there’s also Tasmanian pepperberry in the mix to reduce the redness that can come with deep exfoliation. 

Best Retinol

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

The Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum delivers the active to your skin without the irritation of a traditional retinol. It’s a vegan, dye-free, synthetic fragrance-free product that even works on acne-prone skin.

Our editors love finding you the best products and offers! If you purchase something by clicking on one of the affiliate links on our website, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.